How To Avoid Obsolescence: What Martha Stewart Can Teach Financial Advisors

Martha Stewart originated today’s hip and growing maker movement- giving us the tools, advice, guidance and inspiration to elevate every part of our home. So, of course, when I bought my first home, one of the first things I did was order a subscription to Martha Stewart Living. Martha (anyone who loves her magazine is immediately on a first-name basis with her) put every bit of her marketing brilliance into her magazine. It was a slightly different size than any other magazine available, so it always stood out. The photographs were high art even when they focused on the most domestic elements (even cleaning materials looked stunning).

Every month, I poured through the pages, dreaming about building my nest and enriching my life in the process. Should I paint my walls robin’s egg blue or sage green? Even my chicken rose to a whole new level. Martha’s attitude was always to imagine that with planning, industriousness and some creative juice, anything was possible and would make your life more beautiful. I made everything from homemade mustard to fennel-topped crackers. In fact, I still make her clove and cardamom-spiced apple butter each autumn and her Cioppino every Christmas (minus the mussels).

Read more

Hilary Blair

Realigning Your Voice

Episode 24: Realigning Your Voice
Guest: Hilary Blair

Listen in via iTunes
Listen in via via Stitcher Radio

Happy summer, everyone! This week, I’m excited to invite a communication chiropractor to Women Rocking Wall Street. You’re probably thinking, “What the heck is a communication chiropractor?” Hilary Blair, CEO of ARTiculate: Real & Clear, helps clients align verbal and nonverbal communication with their messages. The result is a voice that connects the head, heart and spirit.

On this episode, Hilary walks us through vocal habits that can unintentionally send messages of insecurity, indecisiveness and all that other bad stuff. Maybe you’re using a little girl voice to avoid being “too much,” or perhaps you’re trailing off at the end of sentences because you’re scared to push an idea. Or maybe you’ve reverted to the “surfer-dude voice,” known as vocal fry, because you don’t want to seem overly enthusiastic.

Whatever the case, a little practice and awareness can give your voice warmth and clarity. Strive for musicality with a nice blend of bass and treble. And be sure to use inflection, which guides listeners through a message, Hilary says.

I hope you enjoy this episode and it inspires you to try out a speaking organization such as Toastmasters. You don’t have to be an expert to join; in fact, it’s the perfect place to practice public speaking in a supportive environment.

For more information about Hilary’s company, visit articulateRC.com, or find her onLinkedIn. Also be sure to check out VASTA—the Voice and Speech Trainers Association—where Hilary is a member.

And, hey!  Share this podcasts with your friends and colleagues AND even recent college graduates. The inspiration will go much further with your help.

And, please head over to iTunes and contribute a quick review. Increased reviews help move the podcast to an even more visible place in the iTunes world. (More visible, more listeners. More listeners, more difference!)

What’s Behind Your Investments

Episode 24: What’s Behind Your Investments?
Guest: Tim Smith

Listen in via iTunes
Listen in via via Stitcher Radio

What an exciting episode! This week, I’m pleased to invite my second male guest to Women Rocking Wall Street. Tim Smith is co-chair of the investor committee for the 30 Percent Coalition, which may sound familiar to those who have been listening to the podcast for a while. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several people from this coalition, which strives for women to hold 30% of board seats across public companies. (Check out the related podcast episodes: “Let’s Get to 30%” and “The Getting Along Paradigm”).

Tim is here today to share some ways the 30 Percent Coalition has rallied to increase the number of women on boards. He’ll also provide tips for how investors can ensure their votes are counted on issues such as board diversity, climate change and equal employment opportunity.

Last year, the 30 Percent Coalition wrote letters to 160-plus companies in the Russell 1000 list who had no women on their boards. The coalition sought to remind these companies that investors are concerned about a lack of diversity. Some companies that took no action actually received shareholder resolutions from various investors requesting that they take steps to diversify. Clearly this is an issue near and dear to investors, and companies must get on board about diversifying their boards.

Those who want to learn more about the story behind their funds can start by researching online or reading proxy statements, Tim suggests. I also want to mention the site unloadyour401k.com, which can show whether your 401(k) plan is invested in public gun companies.

So what happens if you don’t like what you find? If you’re part of a 401(k) and have no control over the investments in the plan, there are still ways to voice your opinion about certain funds. Tim suggests gathering a group of participants to write a letter to the company saying something like, “We understand that you don’t vote on board diversity, and we’re calling on you to change this.” It may feel like a helpless exercise, but Tim says companies are increasingly listening to their consumers.

For more information about having your voice heard, check out The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. You can also read more on the 30 Percent Coalition site, which includes a letter from the group.

Be certain to share this podcasts with your friends and colleagues — AND perhaps even recent college graduates.

And, please head over to iTunes and offer up a quick review. Increased reviews help move the podcast to an even more visible place in the iTunes world. (More visible, more listeners. More listeners, more difference!)

Making Winning Connections

Episode 23: Making Winning Connections
Guest: Maureen Adolf

Welcome back, and I hope you’re feeling happy, healthy and inspired. On this week’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street, I’m thrilled to introduce Maureen Adolf, who’s an expert in government relations and pubic policy. She’s also president of the Financial Women’s Association, a New York-based organization dedicated to accelerating women’s careers in the finance industry.

FWA recently conducted some interesting research around the value of women’s internal networks at various firms. (Check out the full report here). Among the most compelling findings: 39% of respondents said they believe women’s internal networks could contribute to their reason for staying with their current firms. Internal networks have the power to make women feel like their firms are more invested in their wellbeing, which in turn fosters loyalty. On this episode, we’ll dive into the research and best practices for internal networking groups.

If you’ve been thinking about joining a group for women in finance, there’s no time like the present. (Here’s how you can apply for a membership with the Financial Women’s Association.) And as far as internal networks go, don’t be afraid to explore them—even if you aren’t a senior member of your company.  Many times, internal networking groups are formed organically at the lower level, or through HR. And these groups are in demand: According to the report, 77% of respondents who work at firms without a WIN said they would join if their organization had one.

If you are a decision maker for an existing WIN, consider meeting during the workday to accommodate busy schedules and demands at home. Almost half of those surveyed (41%) said time was a reason for not participating.

Check out the full episode for more information about how to get involved, and for Maureen’s insights on the industry. And if you like the episode, please be sure to share with your colleagues, connections and friends. Let’s continue to grow the ranks of Women Rocking Wall Street!